COP26 environment protest

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference - or COP26 for short - is currently taking place in Glasgow. Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity today, and this meeting of delegates from nearly 200 different countries has been touted as the world's "best last chance" to avert catastrophe.

The conference began on Sunday 31 October, and since then we've heard stirring speeches from the likes of David Attenborough, Barack Obama, and Tuvalu's foreign minister Simon Kofe, who addressed the conference while standing knee-deep in seawater.

A number of big pledges and ambitious targets have already been announced, but it's clear that we will all need to do our bit in order to limit the impact of climate change on our planet and our societies.

 

Working towards net zero

A number of countries, including the UK, have set themselves the target of reaching 'net zero' carbon emissions by 2050. This is a useful goal not just for the nations of the world but also for households and businesses.

Businesses of all sizes are now looking at ways to minimise their carbon footprint and get closer to net zero. One way to achieve this is to switch to a remote-only certification body like ISO Accelerator.

We at ISO Accelerator consider ourselves a climate emergency company. Our ISO 9001 certification service is conducted entirely online; by eliminating the need for in-person site visits and taking more than two dozen auditors off the road, we've already saved 185 metric tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).

Contact ISO Accelerator today for more information about switching to our environmentally-friendly ISO certification service.

Remote ISO Certification: How Does It Work?

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Quality manual folders

A quality manual is a document that outlines an organisation's quality management system (QMS).

In the past, a company seeking ISO 9001 certification would typically keep a big folder - sometimes several big folders - full of important documents related to their QMS. This unwieldy stack of forms, procedures, policies and so forth was sometimes referred to as a 'quality manual'.

But a quality manual doesn't have to include all of those things. In fact, a quality manual can just be a single document that sets out the intent for your quality management system and how it will operate.

SEE ALSO: What is a quality manual?

 

Is a quality manual required for ISO 9001 certification?

Not always. There's a lot of debate around this, but there are some certification industry experts who feel that quality manuals are no longer necessary at all.

Here at ISO Accelerator, we do provide each of our clients with a quality manual as part of our ISO 9001 certification service. But don't worry - this is provided digitally, so you won't have to find room for a heavy folder full of policy documents.

Because every company is different, we work closely with each client to develop a QMS (and a quality manual) that's tailored to their unique requirements. So the precise contents of your quality manual will depend on the nature of your organisation and the goals of your quality management system.

Getting Certified: How Does It Work?

Contact ISO Accelerator today to find out more about our fast-track ISO 9001 certification service.

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ISO 9001 audit

Once you have obtained ISO 9001 certification through ISO Accelerator, you will need to renew your certification once a year. This involves paying an annual recertification fee and passing a surveillance audit to prove that you are maintaining your quality management system (QMS).

If you're wondering what to expect from this annual ISO recertification audit, read on...

 

How does the recertification audit work?

The annual surveillance audit is designed to check that your organisation is adhering to the processes laid out in your quality management system.

If your ISO 9001 certificate was issued by ISO Accelerator, we will contact you when it's nearly time for your annual audit. The audit is conducted remotely, keeping costs low and eliminating the need for time-consuming site visits.

Your certification will be renewed upon receipt of a compliant audit report.

 

How often are ISO 9001 audits carried out?

Our recertification audits are carried out once a year.

 

ISO 9001 annual audit checklist

To help you prepare for your annual ISO 9001 recertification audit, here's a list of what we look at when we're conducting a remote audit:

  • Is the organisation following and maintaining the QMS?

  • Does the organisation have an effective internal auditing process in place?

  • Are the recommendations of those internal audits being implemented?

  • Has appropriate action been taken to prevent / correct nonconformances?

  • Is the organisation keeping the correct documentation? (See What Documents Are Required for ISO Certification?)

  • Are management reviews being carried out regularly?

If you have any other questions about our certification process and how these annual surveillance audits work, please don't hesitate to get in touch with ISO Accelerator.

Get Certified   How Does It Work?

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Documents required for ISO certification

It is a popular misconception that businesses must document absolutely everything they do in order to obtain ISO 9001 certification. Yes, there is a fair bit of documentation involved, but there's no reason to fear that your office will be buried under tonnes and tonnes of paperwork.

In fact, one of the objectives of ISO 9001:2015 - the most recent version of the ISO 9001 standard for quality management systems - was to streamline the amount and detail of documentation required.

 

Documents required for ISO 9001 certification

There are two sets of documents required for ISO 9001 certification.

The following mandatory documents are needed to obtain ISO 9001 certification and must be updated continuously:

  • Scope of the quality management system (QMS)
  • Quality policy
  • Quality objectives

Additionally, the following records must be retained in order to prove that your QMS meets ISO 9001 requirements:

  • Monitoring and measuring resources
  • Records of staff training, qualifications, experience, etc.
  • Product / service requirement review records
  • Records of design and development inputs, controls, outputs and changes
  • Characteristics of the product / service to be provided
  • Customer property records
  • Product / service provision change control records
  • Product / service release
  • Record of nonconforming outputs
  • Monitoring and measurement results
  • Results of internal audit
  • Resilts of management review
  • Results of corrective actions
  • Criteria for evaluation and selection of suppliers

Different documents may be required if you are looking to achieve ISO 14001 or ISO 27001 certification. Contact ISO Accelerator for more information on these standards.

If you want to achieve ISO certification as quickly as possible, ISO Accelerator can help. Our online certification service eliminates the need for site visits and face-to-face consultations, helping you to save time and cut costs.

Get ISO Certification   How It Works

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Manufacturing

Quality control is a crucial part of many industries, but none more so than manufacturing. A manufacturing company must have robust systems in place to ensure that their products are of a consistently high quality.

Because manufacturing firms live and die on the quality of the products they make, new companies generally don't wait long to implement a quality management system (QMS) and secure ISO 9001 certification as a mark of their dependability.

 

Why is ISO 9001 certification beneficial for manufacturing companies?

ISO 9001 is the global standard for quality management systems. A company that has achieved ISO 9001 certification can be relied upon to deliver high-quality products and services using efficient, well-defined processes.

In order to meet the criteria for ISO 9001 certification, a manufacturing company must have a suitable quality management system in place. The QMS should:

  • Have a strong customer focus

  • Involve the entire organisation

  • Aim to deliver continual improvement

  • Minimise waste to make all processes as efficient as possible

SEE ALSO: The 8 Principles of Quality Management

Obtaining ISO 9001 certification is a good way to get more business - getting certified proves the quality of your manufacturing processes to potential customers, and many businesses will only consider working with suppliers who hold ISO 9001 certification.

ISO Accelerator can help manufacturing companies to achieve ISO 9001 certification quickly and with minimal hassle. Click here to find out more about our remote ISO certification service.

Get Certified >

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April 2021 planner

The ISO 9001 standard is a recognised worldwide standard that an organisation can use to help improve its overall performance and to demonstrate its commitment to quality. In order to achieve ISO 9001 certification, a business must first develop and implement a stringent quality management system (QMS). The implementation of a quality management system is often a strategic decision. An effective quality management system can help an organisation to:

  1. demonstrate their ability to consistently provide products and services
  2. enhance customer satisfaction

If the QMS fulfils the requirements of ISO 9001, the company can then obtain independent certification in order to demonstrate this to potential customers.

But is ISO 9001 certification still relevant in the year 2021? Do decision-makers still look for the ISO certificate when seeking companies to do business with, or is it a relic of a different time? With the help of the World Wide Web, we can now find out almost anything about a given company with just a few keystrokes - so is there any reason for businesses to go to the trouble of getting certified in this day and age?

 

Why ISO certification still matters

The truth is that, while the Internet has made information easier to find than ever before, it can still be difficult to spot high-quality businesses. Anyone can set up a website and tell the world that they offer a particular product or service - but ISO 9001 certification demonstrates that your business has customer-focused processes in place and is dedicated to the pursuit of continuous improvement.

SEE ALSO: When Is The Next ISO 9001 Update?

The COVID-19 pandemic has made remote working far more widespread than it was before. In the past, when establishing a business relationship with a new client, supplier or service provider, you might have visited their head office and met key individuals in person; the coronavirus crisis has made that less feasible, so it's more important than ever to have a reliable means of evaluating a company's quality. ISO 9001:2015 certification can help you to achieve that.

If you would like to obtain ISO 9001:2015 certification for your business, ISO Accelerator can help you to get certified quickly while minimising costs. Click here to get started!

How Our Remote ISO Certification Process Works

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Typing on a laptop computer

There is a certain amount of debate surrounding quality manuals, what exactly they are, and whether a quality manual is actually required. Many people confuse the term 'quality manual' with a quality management system (QMS); this is understandable, because in the past...

  • ISO 9001 talked about a quality manual

  • Companies would often keep a large folder (or folders) containing master copies of their quality procedures, policies, forms, etc. This was sometimes known as the 'quality manual'.

Today, some in the certification industry see quality manuals as unnecessary. At ISO Accelerator, we aim to give our clients clear and simple guidance on this topic - whether or not you require a quality manual depends on the format and structure of your QMS.

ISO Accelerator helps businesses to implement effective quality management systems. As part of each QMS, we do also provide clients with a digital quality manual. However, this quality manual does not itself contain copies of quality procedures, policies, forms, and so on - instead, these are supplied as part of the complete quality management system. The quality manual is simply a document that describes the intent of the QMS and how it operates.

 

Developing a quality management system

Here at ISO Accelerator, we offer a comprehensive ISO 9001 certification service. We will work with you remotely, helping you to develop a quality management system and put it into practice.

Once your QMS has been properly implemented, a remote audit will be conducted to confirm that you are meeting the requirements of your quality management system. You will then be awarded your certificate of ISO 9001 certification.

As a bonus, you will be able to give clients and customers a copy of your quality manual to reassure them that you have processes in place to ensure a quality service.

How Long Does It Take?   Get ISO 9001 Certification

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Globe

Globalisation has forever changed the way the world does business. Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic has made cross-border movement more difficult in recent months, but people are being vaccinated, the tide is beginning to turn, and in the meantime, the Internet allows us to continue collaborating with people all over the world.

With more and more businesses working with clients and suppliers in other countries, there is a real and pressing need for solutions that transcend international borders. That's why independent global accreditation for SMEs is a key goal for us here at ISO Accelerator - we want to make it easy for quality businesses to:

  • Obtain independent ISO management system certification
  • Maintain certifications online with remote audits
  • Quickly and easily confirm the status of a company’s independent ISO management system certification

Our Scan and See© authentication system (launched last month) is just one of several initiatives that will bring us closer to our goal of independent global accreditation. We already offer online certification to businesses all over the world - see How Does It Work? to find out how you can get certified remotely with ISO Accelerator.

Get Certified >>

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As we move towards global accreditation, ISO Accelerator is proud to announce the launch of its global real-time ISO certificate authentication system Scan and See©.

Countermark

Download the Countermark app and scan the code above to receive a copy of our USAS accreditation certificate!

The problem with traditional paper ISO certificates is that, once printed, they are static and hard to authenticate. You can always try to make contact with the certification company that issued the certificate - but in a global marketplace, this can be problematic, especially if you're trying to make a quick decision and there are time differences and/or language barriers in play.

To overcome this problem, ISO Accelerator has launched a global real-time ISO certificate authentication system called Scan and See©. This technology allocates a unique digital 'countermark' to an ISO certificate of registration. When the countermark is scanned using the Countermark app, the user is:

  1. Immediately informed of the validity of the certificate, and
  2. Automatically emailed a copy of the ISO certificate (if valid) from the certification body.

When presented with an ISO certificate, this system allows you to validate it against the most recent authorised certificate issued by the certification body - instantly!

 

What does this mean for ISO Accelerator customers?

Scan and See© allows for 100% real-time global authentication of ISO certificates or registration at any time, wherever you are, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

As this new system is rolled out, we will continue to temporarily issue certificate numbers; however, we are planning to phase these out on new certificates over the coming months. All existing ISO Accelerator customers will be issued with a certificate bearing a countermark after their next surveillance / recertification audit. There is no need for existing customers to contact us unless you would like to be issued with a replacement certificate bearing the countermark ahead of time.

We at ISO Accelerator are world leaders in using technology to simplify and perfect the process for independent ISO management system certification. If you would like to make savings on the cost of your ISO certification and join us on our journey to enable independent ISO certification in a safe, secure and environmentally friendly manner, please contact us today.

Contact Us   Get Certified

More excitingly, if you would like to see how the countermark works, simply download the Countermark app from the App Store or Google Play and scan the countermark above.

App Store button   Google Play button

Running to keep up

Keeping a close eye on ISO standards can eat up a lot of your time - which isn't ideal when you're trying to focus on growing your business. Here at ISO Accelerator, we work hard to ensure that we're constantly up to date with the latest version of each standard, giving you one less thing to worry about.

Our customers occasionally ask us how we're able to stay on top of all the latest ISO changes. We'd like to shed some light on that subject today.

 

How do we keep up with developments and changes in ISO standards?

In order to demonstrate our commitment to being at the forefront of the development of international standards, we decided it was important for ISO Accelerator to become a member of one of ISO's in-country representatives.

Since ISO Accelerator is a global company, we then had to determine which national standards body we wanted to join. We came to the conclusion that, because our international headquarters are located in the United Kingdom, BSI - ISO's member body in the UK - would be the best fit for us.

 

How does BSI membership benefit our customers?

ISO Accelerator's BSI membership demonstrates that we are:

  • Committed to high standards
  • Committed to performing better
  • Committed to delivering excellence

But beyond that, our BSI membership also ensures that whenever standards like ISO 9001 are updated, we are among the first to hear about it.

Learn more about BSI membership >

 

Why don't we just become an ISO member?

ISO is a global network of national standards bodies. There is only one member per country and each member represents ISO in its home country. It is important to understand that individuals and companies cannot become ISO members.

If you would like to benefit from our BSI membership and join one of the world's leading online certification companies, please contact ISO Accelerator to find out more about our remote ISO certification services.

Contact Us   Get Certified

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